A little earlier this afternoon, we got some excellent news, that is if you care about the rule of law and protection of peoples’ right to vote:
The Justice Department on Friday entered the divisive national debate over new state voting laws, rejecting South Carolina’s measure requiring photo-identification at the polls as discriminatory against minority voters.
The decision by Justice’s Civil Rights Division could heighten political tensions over the new laws, which critics say could depress turnout among minorities and others who helped elect President Obama in 2008. A dozen states this year passed laws requiring voters to present state-issued photo identification, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
So far, Virginia isn’t one of those dozen states, but don’t you worry, the Teapublicans are on top of the situation heading into 2012! That’s right, watch out, as Virginia Teapublican Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg) has introduced this piece of
Elections; voting procedures; voter identification requirements; provisional ballots. Provides that a voter who is unable to present one of the enumerated forms of identification may sign a sworn statement that he is the named registered voter he claims to be and then be allowed to vote a provisional ballot. Present law allows such a voter to vote an official rather than provisional ballot after signing such statement.
With voter participation already absurdly low, why on earth would we make it harder for people to vote in this country? And no, there’s no serious problem with “voter fraud” in this country, that’s just a right-wing myth, like “the world’s actually not getting warmer” and “tax cuts pay for themselves.” In fact, it’s all about the Republican Party’s multi-decade war on voting rights, particularly against minorities, but also against young people and organized labor and pretty much anyone who might put up opposition to the Republicans’ 100% pro-corporate, anti-environment, anti-democratic (small “d”), anti-women, anti-GLBT, anti-immigrant (etc, etc, etc.) agenda. And, of course, this battle tends to flair up as we approach presidential election years, when the chances of Democratic victory increase with the numbers of Americans voting. Funny how that works: when more people vote, Democrats do better; when fewer people vote, Republicans do better. Think about that one.